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  • Writer's pictureLuke Shackelford

Love is not Jealous

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Lately, I've been breaking down the meaning of love coming out of 1 Corinthians 13.

I've been taking the time to do this in an effort to make pursuing Jesus in our daily lives practical. Breaking down love in order to find ways in which we can implement it into our lives and show it to others on a daily basis.

I don’t believe there is any better way to utilize this time of communion than to take a moment to reflect on how we can be like Jesus, whose body and blood we are about to consume together.

So, this week I've been exploring a love that does not envy.

Envy here can be equated to jealousy. So, love is not jealous. There are a couple things about jealousy that make it incongruent with the love of Jesus and the love that Jesus desires us to have for one another.

First of all, jealousy is a symptom that arises when someone’s heart is not pure and when their heart is not rooted

in the self-sacrificial love of Jesus. Self-sacrificial is the key here. The love of Jesus hopes more for others than it does for itself. It not only hopes that others are better off than it but it leads us to act in a way where we sacrifice our own well-being for the well-being of those around us. Even more than that, it does so even for the ones who absolutely hate us, not just the ones who it’s easy to sacrifice for like friends and family. And so, the opposite of being self-sacrificial is to be jealous. To want what others have.

If we go back in history to the story of Cain and Abel, we can see how destructive of a force jealousy can be. In this story j

ealousy leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, and hatred leads to the life taking act of murder. This is something that Jesus illustrates to us in His Sermon on the Mount. He warns us of the dangers of anger and goes so far to say that even if we simply feel angry, we’ve already murdered that person.

Now of course this isn’t literal but what Jesus is doing is grabbing our attention and warning us about the dangers of not keeping our hearts in check because the heart is the source of who we are and all that we do. (as said in Proverbs 4:23)

So, instead of bringing life through self-sacrifice like we are called to be, jealousy can lead us to taking a life, in which we become the opposite of everything that God has created us to be. Taking life instead of giving it, destroying creation instead of cultivating it. Jealousy doesn’t have to literally lead to murder in order to destroy. It can destroy relationships and trust as well.

Finally, the issue with jealousy is that it wants what God has given someone else instead of being thankful and trusting God with what He has given to us. The danger of this is that we can waste the purpose and gift that Go

d has placed right in front of us by focusing all of our attention on what others have. In this, we miss out on the very things that God created us for. The tragic part about that, is that someone in this earth is reliant on you and you taking hold of what God has given you and trusted you with.

So, this week I challenge you and myself to keep our hearts in check. To shut down jealousy when it arises in our hearts and

to bring it under the control of the Holy Spirit. As we do this, let us also take a step back and seek exactly what it is that God has given, what He has trusted us with and commissioned us to cultivate in our lives in order to bring His kingdom to the earth.


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